Jeff Tedford’s Offense? “Up Tempo”March 18th, 2014
Joe calls it the “Jeff Tedford Mystery.” It’s whatever the Bucs offense will be.
Up until today, we could only guess. Tedford, who has yet to walk the sidelines of an NFL practice as an NFL coach, is Lovie Smith’s offensive coordinator and but for a few brief years in the CFL, has been a college guy.
One could look at his track record as “Cal” head coach and guess what his offense would be, but it would only be a guess. The NFL is not the PAC-12. Lovie talks about running the ball and his history would suggest a run-oriented offense, but general manager Jason Licht seems to be putting all of his chips in the middle of the table with guys (Anthony Collins, Evan Dietrich-Smith and Demar Dotson) who are better known for pass blocking than run blocking.
Last week Joe did his best to try to pry details of the Bucs offense from starting quarterback Josh McCown. He danced around the question, which Joe somewhat expected, and the closest hint he gave was “Chip Kelly,” referring to the offensive-minded coach of the Eagles who tries to run so many plays his players can’t count.
That was a pretty good hint. Today, newly-acquired center Even Dietrich-Smith appeared on “Movin’ the Chains,” co-hosted by Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and gave a little more detail on what to expect from Tedford.
Pat Kirwan: You referenced Jeff Tedford’s offense. Do you have a sense as to what he is all about as it relates to, a) what you haven’t done in Green Bay; or maybe they did? I am sure your quarterback [Aaron Rodgers] knows it pretty good from his days at Cal. What do you know about the offense, for the Buccaneers fans? They are going to ask us the second you get off. What’s going on with this offense under Tedford? What’s your insight into that?
Evan Dietrich-Smith: I was [understanding] it was an up tempo offense. You are going to see some standard stuff but that is also the trend of the league, you now, the no-huddle stuff. Making the defenses play long [drives] and multiple reps. Get the D-linemen worn out. That [lot of reps] definitely has an effect on the defensive guys. They actually have [to be on the field] longer than the offensive guys a lot of the times. It was sort of like our philosophy up in Green Bay. When I went down there [to Tampa] to talk about it, it’s going to be some of the same. There is going to be some carry-over. Even when you look around the league, a lot teams run the same stuff, they just call it different. The translation of the terms, you just have to learn it. It’s like a new language. The more knowledge you have as a football player it is pretty easy to translate it from coach to coach.
So now a clearer picture is coming into focus, the Chip Kelly, hurry-up offense with running plays. (Yes, Kelly loves to run, too) Joe has to tip his cap. This is a bit innovative and not so much the standard mentality of keep-away, ball control, but wear out the defense with multiple plays.
So McCown was pretty accurate when he invoked Kelly’s name. No wonder Lovie told Joe at the combine he wanted a strong stable of running backs to surround Doug Martin.